Stevenson Under the Palm Trees by Alberto Manguel

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Synopsis

In the lush, uninhibited atmosphere of Samoa, Robert Louis Stevenson is languishing with the disease that will soon kill him; when a chance encounter with the mysterious Scottish missionary, Mr Baker, turns his thoughts back to his conservative, post-Reformation Edinburgh home.

As Stevenson's meetings with the tantalizingly nebulous missionary become increasingly strange, a series of crimes against the native population sours the atmosphere. With its playful nod to Stevenson's life and work Manguel has woven an intoxicating tale in which fantasy infiltrates reality.
 

About Alberto Manguel

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Internationally acclaimed as an essayist and novelist, Alberto Manguel is also a prize-winning translator and has edited ten anthologies. Author of the award-winning A History of Reading, News from a Foreign Country Came and Stevenson Under the Palm Trees, his most recent book is A Reading Diary. Born in Buenos Aires, he has lived in Italy, England, Tahiti and Canada, and now lives in France, where he was named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.
 
Published October 8, 2009 by Canongate Books. 112 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Stevenson Under the Palm Trees

Kirkus Reviews

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The reader knows—from page one—that Baker wears a hat “not unlike Stevenson’s own.” But we’ll never know the truth: Baker disappears and Stevenson dies, suddenly and pathetically.

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The Guardian

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Stevenson Under the Palm Trees by Alberto Manguel 96pp, Canongate, £7.99 Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Jekyll and Hyde in Bournemouth in 1885, and died in Samoa 10 years later.

Jan 10 2004 | Read Full Review of Stevenson Under the Palm Trees

Publishers Weekly

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A deeply disturbed Robert Louis Stevenson, in the last year of his life, becomes embroiled in the investigation of the rape and murder of a Samoan woman, as well as a case of arson, in this intriguing, if slight, tale from Argentinean-born writer Manguel (A History of Reading ).

Aug 23 2004 | Read Full Review of Stevenson Under the Palm Trees

SF Site

Baker and Stevenson are linked, of course, yet Stevenson resists the apocalyptic vision of Baker.

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